Maria Sharapova and her father often trade glances between points. In the stands, Dad pounds his fist on his chest, and she mimics the signal.
It represents a simple message -- "Play with heart!" -- but the Wimbledon champion didn't use the gesture during a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 upset loss to Mary Pierce in the U.S. Open's third round Saturday.
Instead, right over her heart and just below her sponsor's logo, Sharapova's silver dress carried a plain black ribbon. She wore it in memory of the more than 350 people killed -- nearly half children -- in a hostage-taking at a school in her native Russia, wrote Indianapolis Star.
"I lost today, but I still have to move on. It's not the end of the world," said Sharapova, who double-faulted 14 times and dropped the final five games. "There are a lot more important things in the world going on right now."
Given her almost perfect English, her all-grown-up strokes and her poise on and off the court, it's easy to forget that Sharapova is just 17 and was born in Siberia, reports Chicago Sun Times.
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